Top Greek Fasting Recipes for Lent

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Great and Holy Lent takes place in the period before Holy Week, which is all before Greek Easter. During both Great and Holy Lent and Holy Week, Orthodox Christians observe a fast. While there are other fasting periods that exist throughout the year, this is by far the most popular.

Eating can be a challenge during this time, especially since many of our favorite foods aren’t allowed, such as meat. For more information on exactly how you should fast, you’ll want to consult with your priest. These recipes should pass most standards and are some of our favorites!

Stuffed Grape Leaves 

Stuffed grape leaves are a favorite food more most Greeks, but they usually contain ground meat, such as lamb, which is mixed in with the rice. In order to make them friendly for lent, you need to eliminate the meat. However, it isn’t enough to just follow your regular recipe. When you get rid of the meat, you need to add other flavorful ingredients that are acceptable while fasting. This recipe delivers.

Gigantes Plaki

Gigantes are a plump, hearty legume that is common in Greek cuisine. This dish features gigantes beans mixed with spices and tomato sauce. This dish is a great addition to any lenten meal, especially since it is a good source of protein.

Lentil Rice Pilaf

Lentils are another popular ingredient that is used during fasting time periods. It is naturally present in every day Greek cuisine, but the high protein, low calorie nature of this legume makes foods that contain it perfectly suited for lent. This dish features rice, lentils, and other vegetables and it makes for a great main course while fasting.

Greek Baked Vegetables

These baked vegetables are a staple all year, but they are especially ignorant during Lent. Recipes differ, but our version features popular Greek vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. The flavors are rich and healthy and this makes an excellent side dish. You can also mix in a can of navy beans that have been drained and rinsed into the recipe to give this dish a boost of protein.

Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is hearty and satisfying. It is also completely vegan, which makes it a very popular choice during Lent. It has everything – a protein source, vegetables, and delicious flavors that are traditionally Greek. This is great as part of a larger meal or can even stand on its own for a light supper.

Horta (Boiled Greens)

Boiled greens, also referred to as horta, is a popular food in Greece all year long. However, they are especially popular during Lent because this dish doesn’t contain any meat. You can use any greens that you have available, such as escarole, spinach, or dandelion greens.

Orzo in Tomato Sauce

This orzo gets most of its flavor from tomato sauce. Because there is no meat in it, this is a great dish to eat during Lent. It pairs especially well with the briami recipe that is featured above.


Halva is looked at as a Lent-friendly food, especially since it doesn’t contain any oil, which some people avoid. This is a great choice for those who want to eat something a little sweet while they are fasting. It is also still very nutritious, thanks to the ingredients.

These are our top favorite recipes that you can eat during Great and Holy Lent and during other fasting periods throughout the year. You may notice there is no seafood listed here and this is because some people don’t even eat seafood during Lent. If you have any questions about how you should fast, you should ask your priest.  Visit this page for more ideas as to recipes that you can eat when you fast.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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